Military Review

Smooth rifle Cobray Terminator. Worst shotgun in history

American armory Cobray Company, founded in the seventies of the last century, offered potential buyers a fairly wide range of weapons of various classes and types. Up to a dozen models were simultaneously present in her catalog. Some of the produced samples could be considered successful, while others were not perfect. It is noteworthy that one of the most famous creations of the company was not very successful gun Cobray Terminator.

For a number of reasons, the activities of the Cobray company differed in some specific features. So, at first, the company did not have its own design bureau, since the business plan of its organizers implied the acquisition of licenses for the production of a weapon from its creators. In addition, the production of a certain part of the products was planned to be entrusted to another company. As a result, a significant part of the products under the brand name Cobray Company was actually released by SWD Inc. (Atlanta city). However, over time, such a policy was abandoned, as a result of which new projects of their own design appeared. The production of finished goods, however, was still planned to be ordered to a third party.

General view of the Cobray Terminator. Photo

In the eighties, Cobray introduced a new self-developed shotgun. The Cobray Terminator product was distinguished by its specific appearance and non-standard design, which, apparently, should have attracted the attention of potential buyers. However, as it became clear later, in the proposed form, the gun had no particular prospects and could not firmly establish itself in the market. At the same time, some factors were present that further reduced the prospects for such weapons.

Apparently, the designers of the company "Kobrei" simply did not have the proper experience, which led to undesirable consequences. The gun “Terminator” - with all its originality - was distinguished by specific characteristics that made it difficult to use it normally in various areas. However, it was precisely due to the numerous shortcomings that the Cobray Terminator rifle became widely known, and after it the “honorary title” of the worst shotgun in stories.

According to reports, the Terminator project had several main objectives. Its authors sought to make weapons as simple and cheap as possible, and in addition, it was planned to reduce the complexity of exploitation to a certain extent. All these features needed to be combined with the possibility of using relatively powerful rifle cartridges. From the point of view of the general concept, all the tasks were successfully solved, but the result was far from ideal.

Cobray designers have proposed to solve the tasks at the expense of the rejection of multiply charged and any automation. A new type of rifle had to be reloaded manually and did not receive any means of storing ammunition. The abandonment of ammunition systems led to the formation of a recognizable appearance, formed by just a few basic details of a large size.

The largest unit of the promising gun was the receiver, combined with the barrel casing. It was made in the form of a metal tube with a total length of about 18 inches (457 mm) and equipped with all the necessary devices. The rear end of the tube was closed with a cap-cap mounted on the thread. On the right side of such a box there was a large window for working with a cartridge. On the left, at the same level, an L-shaped slot was provided for the control handle. In the front half of the receiver were several washers that served as the supports of the barrel and the mainspring. In front of the tube there was a perforation for supplying air to the barrel.

Shotgun with folded butt. Photo by

Under the back of the receiver was placed a small body of the firing mechanism, made in the form of a narrow elongated parts. Under it were fixed pistol grip and trigger guard. On the sides of the housing trigger there were means of fastening the butt.

The gun "Terminator" was completed with a smooth barrel length 18,5 inch (470 mm). The proposed modification of the gun 12-th and 20-th caliber, compatible with existing ammunition. In fact, the barrel was a metal tube with a minimum amount of additional parts. So, on its left side there was a small handle for reloading, and on the right there was a shallow recess for installing the locking lever. The latter was a plate of large elongation, installed in the recess of the trunk over a pair of springs. Inside the receiver was a powerful combat spring, worn on the barrel.

The functions of the shutter in the original design of the gun was performed by the rear stopper of the receiver. It had a cylindrical shape, and a thread was applied to the side surface for installation in a box. At the front end of the cork there was a small protrusion that served as a striker. The rear end received fastenings for a plate-shaped swivel, which rotated freely on its axis.

The Cobray Terminator project involved the use of a simple trigger mechanism. In its composition there was a trigger and sear, located in front of its own body. Behind them, at the level of the handle, there was a spring-loaded extractor for removing the liner from the chamber. The sear and the extractor were removed into the cavity of the receiver through the corresponding grooves in its bottom.

The rifle received the simplest aiming device, forcing to recall the weapons of the past centuries. In front of the barrel casing secured front sight, covered with a U-shaped protection. It was suggested only to direct weapons to the target. No scope was envisaged. Apparently, this was due to the need to reduce the cost of production, as well as the fundamental impossibility of obtaining the desired accuracy characteristics.

The barrel and its perforated casing. Photo by

"Terminator" was completed with a folding butt of the simplest design. It was based on two longitudinal rods with several notches in different parts. The rear ends of the rods were welded to the stamped backplate. For greater structural strength, the butt plate was made integral with side kerchiefs attached to the rods. On the sides of the front and rear parts of the USM case, it was planned to install four (two on each side) rings with drilled holes. The rear pair of rings served as guides to move the stock. The front, in turn, was equipped with a simple latch. With its help, the butt could be folded down by pushing it all the way forward, or pulled back and locked in the working position.

The use of a folding butt allowed us to obtain acceptable length indicators. In the transport position, the Cobray Terminator rifle was just the entire 22 inch (559 mm). As a result of the extension of the butt, the product length increased to 35 inches (889 mm). As far as is known, the longitudinal dimensions of the weapon did not depend on the used cartridge. The presence of a relatively heavy barrel and a robust receiver, connected with a powerful spring, adversely affected the mass of the structure. Despite the greater simplicity in comparison with other guns, the Terminator did not have a lower weight.

The original gun was different from other modern designs not only by its specific design, but also not by the most common principle of operation. The designers of the company “Cobray” suggested using a scheme with a fixed gate and a barrel rolling on it. It was probably chosen because of its relative simplicity and lower labor intensity of production.

To prepare for the shot, it was necessary to press the locking lever, move the trunk handle forward and, bringing it to the extreme position, turn to the right-up. At the same time, the barrel was retracted to the extreme forward position and squeezed the mainspring. After turning the barrel around the longitudinal axis of its handle was fixed in the corresponding part of the groove of the receiver, preventing movement mechanisms. Having retracted and fixed the barrel, the shooter had to manually insert a standard rifle ammunition into the chamber. Further rotation of the barrel counterclockwise returned the handle to a long longitudinal groove, allowing you to make a shot.

When the trigger was pressed, the sear was disengaged from the breech breech, as a result of which the latter began to move backward under the action of its own combat spring. Close to the rearmost position of the barrel was locked. The lever intended for this, reaching the window for ejection of the sleeve, rose and rested against the receiver. After that, the bottom of the sleeve with the cap reached the drummer, and a shot occurred.

The back of the receiver and the shutter control, top left view. Photo

To recharge, you had to re-clamp the locking lever and move the barrel forward. During its movement, the spring-loaded extractor caught the bead of the empty cartridge and removed it from the chamber. The reflector for throwing the cartridge out was absent, it was suggested to literally shake it out of the receiver. Having sent a new cartridge to the chamber, the shooter could fire again. For obvious reasons, a gun with similar principles of work could not show a high rate of fire.

It is known that by the mid-eighties, the Cobray Company agreed with the SWD factory about the mass production of new rifles. Soon, promising products came out of the conveyor, intended for demonstration to potential buyers. According to some reports, no more than 18-20 rifles were released, after which production stopped. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that Cobray and SWD have released a greater number of Terminators.

A new single-shot smooth-bore gun entered the market and, in general, did not interest potential operators. The target audience of this product, having read it, made negative conclusions and bought other weapons from other manufacturers. The already not the highest potential of the Cobray Terminator product was reduced by a number of characteristic technical and operational deficiencies. Due to the lack of demand, the production of such guns was stopped.

Some sources mention a different reason for the rejection of the "Terminators". So, it is argued that these guns were contrary to US weapons legislation. They allegedly could be converted to store food and automatic fire, which translated them into the so-called category. Destructive device and impose the most serious restrictions on civilian traffic. However, such a version is obviously not true. The existing design could not get the possibility of automatic fire without the most serious processing. Moreover, even the possibility of performing such an upgrade is doubtful.

Together with the original look, the Cobray Terminator received a whole range of serious problems that interfered with normal operation and reduced commercial potential. First of all, the problem of this weapon was the lack of the ability to make several shots in a row without a long manual reload procedure. Against the background of the existing shop guns, the Terminator looked very strange. Also, buyers could scare ambiguous gun ergonomics. An incomplete set of sighting devices was also not a plus.

Smooth rifle Cobray Terminator. Worst shotgun in history
Cavity receiver. The barrel is shifted forward, visible sear and extractor. Photo

The shotgun fired from the open bolt, and before the shot the barrel had to move backwards with the help of a mainspring. Thus, the barrel breech first hit the back cover-cap of the receiver, and then it took up the recoil momentum. It is not difficult to imagine what impact the shooter had on the shot, and what were the opinions of people who had the opportunity to try out such weapons.

The only noticeable advantage of the Terminator over other systems of similar classes was its cost. For such a gun they asked only 100 dollars - several times less than for more advanced systems. However, due to the mass of technical and operational problems, the unusual gun could not realize its only economic advantage.

Serial production of Cobray Terminator shotguns did not last too long. A small number of such products were sold, after which their production was curtailed due to the lack of real prospects. Sold guns were exploited by buyers, but, apparently, did not deliver any pleasure.

Relatively early coagulation of mass production led to interesting consequences. So, over time, the “worst shotgun” from an unsuccessful sample turned into a collection value. Guns "Terminator" from time to time appear on various trading platforms and are always sold at a fairly high price. From the point of view of collecting such a weapon was much more interesting than in the original role of a sporting or hunting rifle.

Most of the Cobray Company’s products were licensed versions of someone else’s weapons, but from time to time it attempted to create its own designs. One of them was the “worst shotgun” - Cobray Terminator. The history of this product and its commercial success clearly indicate that the licensed production of the company Cobray was much better than the development of its own projects.

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  1. alex-cn
    alex-cn 29 December 2017 06: 44
    Yes-ah ... And I thought, dark, that it’s worse than our “farmer”, especially the first issues, it’s impossible to come up with anything.
  2. Michael_Zverev
    Michael_Zverev 29 December 2017 09: 45
    It looks harsh. lol So it blows post-apocalypse, the real weapon of the Wasteland. laughing
  3. groks
    groks 29 December 2017 11: 46
    Simplicity is more expensive / worse than theft. I saw a similar construction of homemade. It will be interesting if the latch breaks at the moment of charging - the finger flattenes with a barrel.
    If you remove the fixation of the lever and, accordingly, the shutter, then there will be automatic fire. Only somewhere to attach the store and organize a confident supply of cartridges.
  4. Lekov L
    Lekov L 29 December 2017 12: 56
    What a misery!
    I, as an engineer, would be ashamed of mechanics for such work, but as a hunter it’s just disgusting
    call a weapon.
    Kirill, thank you very much for the interesting information, but usually your articles are uplifting, and here you just stunned me.
    One can not help remembering Zadornov with Lavrov - "well, stupid" and "DB" (c)
    Thanks for the article, but if you can dig up something positive, in your usual style ...
    Thank you very much in advance.
    Sincerely ...
  5. Curious
    Curious 29 December 2017 13: 33
    Actually, Cobray was in the 1970s and 1980s, it was kind of like a counterterrorism training center led by the famous "wild goose" Mitch Verbell. Those. they trained mercenaries there.
    In the 1950s, Verbell served as security adviser to the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo and the Batista regime in Cuba.
    In 1966, he planned the overthrow of Duvalier in Haiti. There was talk of his involvement in the Kennedy assassination.
    The person is odious. But he traded weapons more successfully.
    As for Cobray, it is known for a copy of the South African Sentinel Arms Co Striker-12 and a horned product Lady's Home Companion. A total of 1500 syringes described in the article were released.
    1. bouncyhunter
      bouncyhunter 30 December 2017 11: 15
      My regards ! hi I read about this refinement from different authors, but everywhere the same conclusion. lol A photo of this device on the background of boxes with cartridges 5.45X39 and 7.62X54R to determine the visual size of this miracle?
  6. tracer
    tracer 29 December 2017 16: 35
    A drunken welder with a turner agreed in a garage ......
    1. garri-lin
      garri-lin 29 December 2017 19: 35
      Yes NO SW. The body does not have tasser to drink, even after years of training. Here it smells of heavy "synthetics" and in large quantities and regularly.
  7. polpot
    polpot 29 December 2017 20: 24
    In terms of budget utilization, a great product, possibly the CIA or the Pentagon, sponsored the invention, to steal budget money.
  8. geek2101
    geek2101 30 December 2017 13: 24
    Looking at this miracle of engineering, I have a strong association with the most widespread, in the version of the author of the novel "Metro 2033", home-made submachine gun of the apocalypse times, under the name - "Bastard", picturesque and talking about its reliability and other qualities. laughing
  9. Kot_Kuzya
    Kot_Kuzya 31 December 2017 06: 45
    The rifle received the simplest aiming device, forcing to recall the weapons of the past centuries. In front of the barrel casing secured front sight, covered with a U-shaped protection. It was suggested only to direct weapons to the target. No scope was envisaged. Apparently, this was due to the need to reduce the cost of production, as well as the fundamental impossibility of obtaining the desired accuracy characteristics.

    Hmm, did the author even have a smooth-bore weapon in his hands? In all smooth-bore guns, sights are a simple front sight and the rear sight, like in pistols, since the range of firing from smooth-bore weapons is pistol - not more than 100 meters.
    1. Michael_Zverev
      Michael_Zverev 31 December 2017 12: 35
      Quote: Kot_Kuzya

      Hmm, did the author even have a smooth-bore weapon in his hands? In all smooth-bore guns, sights are a simple front sight and the rear sight, like in pistols, since the range of firing from smooth-bore weapons is pistol - not more than 100 meters.
      In my opinion, you are mistaken, the sights of a smooth-bore gun consist only of a fly, as a rule, the truth is, there it is without any protection.
      1. Michael_Zverev
        Michael_Zverev 31 December 2017 12: 37
        Here are the fusee trunks, some flies and no rear sight.
        1. Kot_Kuzya
          Kot_Kuzya 31 December 2017 12: 41
          Well, the author’s claims about the sights are all the more incomprehensible.
  10. AlNikolaich
    AlNikolaich 2 January 2018 17: 53
    I read something ... I immediately remembered the Lynx Lynx ... Although I had previously thought that nothing could be worse than a Lynx ... Wrong!
  11. D06
    D06 11 January 2018 03: 20
    It looks like a spear gun.